South African authorities have finally provided an update on Johann Steynberg’s Brazilian extradition.

The bad news? Steynberg is going to waste everybody’s time fighting the inevitable.

The good news? Get an extra large serving of popcorn ready.

We’ve heard nothing official from either South Africa or Brazil following Steynberg’s arrest in January.

Quoting a court order published on Monday, Jan Vermuelen from MyBroadband reports;

South Africa has asked the Brazilian government to extradite former Mirror Trading International CEO Johann Steynberg for various financial crimes.

  • Conducting financial services without a licence
  • Conducting a derivatives business unlicensed
  • Trading in financial products without a license
  • Fraud
  • Theft
  • Money laundering

The Brazilian court order has clarified that the South African government had obtained an Interpol Red Diffusion (A–488/1–2022) on Steynberg, resulting in him being identified.

Steynberg fled South Africa after the Mirror Trading International Ponzi collapsed in October 2020.

After Steynberg’s arrest, we promptly learned he quickly shacked up with and spent 2021 banging a Brazilian mistress.

I initially put this down to Steynberg just being a horny toad. Turns out it might have been an extradition insurance policy.

In his bid to be released from custody, Steynberg assured the court he wasn’t a flight risk because he’d “started a family in Brazil”.

Jan Vermeulen points out Steynberg’s strategy is

reminiscent of famous train robber Ronald Biggs.

The United Kingdom failed to extradite Biggs from Brazil in 1974 because his girlfriend was pregnant with their son.

Steynberg left behind a wife and son when he fled South Africa.

Whether Nerina Steynberg is on board with Johann “starting a family in Brazil” is unclear.

The glaring hole in Steynberg’s plan is the only reason he’s in Brazil to begin with, is he left behind a wife and kid to go on the run in the first place.

“Your honor I’m not going to do the thing I just did again. Dear god, I have a family now-oh. Wait, I get it.

Yeah you should send me back. I’m absolutely a terrible person.

Can I call Nerina though? She’s going to be mad. This is worse than the time Clynton hid Cheri’s Lindt.”

The final argument raised by Steynberg was him being CEO of a $1.4 billion Ponzi scheme, didn’t “meet the requirements for extradition”.

Thankfully the Judge hearing Steynberg’s case had more sense then his now presumably pregnant mistress.

Brazilian supreme court justice André Mendonça was unmoved by Steynberg’s request and ordered that he remain under precautionary arrest pending his extradition hearing.

Mendonça ruled that taking up residence and starting a family in Brazil does not prevent precautionary arrest, nor does it protect Steynberg from extradition anymore.

As to when Steynberg will be extradited;

Mendonça said South Africa’s embassy was informed of the arrest on 18 February, and it submitted a verbal note formalising the extradition request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 14 April.

Apparently Steynberg can be held for 60 days, but there is “precedent” for extensions.

What we still don’t know is when Steynberg’s “pending extradition hearing” is.

We don’t usually get good news regarding MTI so I hope you savored it. Now back to the disaster that is the complete waste of time liquidation proceedings in South Africa.

The latest is the liquidators are fighting with Clynton and Cheri Marks, in proceedings that will likely take years.

One thing I don’t understand is what the game plan is after Steynberg’s extradited.

South African authorities have charged him. If Steynberg is eventually found guilty (2030? 2040?), off he goes to prison and then what?

Liquidation proceeds are likely to be still going (2050? 2060?), leaving the Marks to live off the fortune they stole from Mirror Trading International investors.

Can someone explain to me why SA authorities can’t also charge Clynton and Cheri Marks with

  • Conducting financial services without a licence
  • Conducting a derivatives business unlicensed
  • Trading in financial products without a license
  • Fraud
  • Theft and
  • Money laundering?

The Marks are just as guilty as Steynberg. If not more seeing as MTI was very much a reboot of their BTC Global Ponzi.


Update 26th April 2024 – Johannes Steynberg has reportedly died of acute respiratory failure in Brazil.